floor sagging at exterior walls

Discussion in 'Framing and Foundation' started by aaarg, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Dec 13, 2013 #1

    aaarg

    aaarg

    aaarg

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    We just bought a house built in the early 50s. The exterior CMU walls sit on concrete foundation walls and the house is over crawl space. The floor joists are supported by intermediate wooden posts over concrete piers and presumably at the perimeter by the foundation wall (though I'm not sure exactly what the connection detail is there). After purchasing this house, I noticed that in one of the rooms, the finished floor is separating a little from the base board at the exterior wall (And a little from the interior walls as well). When I look at the slit between the floor and the baseboard, I can actually get a peak at the green grass beyond through the vent hole in the crawl space. The inspector did not get us any pictures of the perimeter condition from the crawl space (not sure how accessible it is because he said space underneath is pretty tight). I can't imagine why the floors would be separating from the walls when presumably they are both supported (whether directly or indirectly) by the perimeter foundation wall, unless the joist connection to the foundation wall is sagging. Is anyone familiar enough with construction from this period to advise?

    Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 2.45.45 PM.png
     
  2. Dec 13, 2013 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Welcome to the site.
    This could be a big deal but it could also be an easy fix. I depends on what you find, so here's your home work.
    1. Do an inspection of the foundation from the outside, look for anything that seems to be out of the norm, cracks, deteration and crumbling. Do the blocks look to be level thru the problem area? how much foundation can you see between the ground and the siding?

    2. Do the floor joist land on this portion of the foundation or are they running the other way?

    3. Do you have a sencond floor above or single level?

    4. Type of roof over this area, peaked end (gable end) or the end of rafters and a gutter?

    In the fifties, this should be a platform house where the floor is built and then the wall a built on top of that. For what ever reason the floor is sagging and the walls are well nailed together and are spaning the load over the problem area. It too will sag over time, so catching this asap is a good idea.

    You are looking for damaged foundation, if not you will be looking for dry rot or termit damage. Good Luck.
     
  3. Dec 14, 2013 #3

    joecaption

    joecaption

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    Imposable to tell much from that one picture.
    I do see where for some reason that post was not sat under the support beam like it should be.
    There's no joist hangers.
    Is there a deck or patio where it's sagging on the outside that's right up against the side of the house?
    If so post a picture outside.
     
  4. Dec 18, 2013 #4

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

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    It would also help if you told us what part of the world you live in. A lot of foundation problems are unique to certain parts of the country (or world). Your personal profile says nothing about your location.

    Trust us, no one will come looking for you.
     
  5. Dec 27, 2013 #5

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Try making gap measurements within 1/32" accuracy in several locations and compare with the measurements you take a month or a year from now.
    A one inch change in one year is probably something to be alarmed about but this settling rate info is probably scattered all over the Web.

    If anybody has info of this type I'll be glad to crunch numbers and come up with benchmarks for 'losing sleep' or 'resting easy'. The more data, the less each opinion counts, so accuracy increases. I'd need house age vs. gap distance for a first cut.

    Meanwhile I'll see what I can pick up from occasional searches. I doubt that any building code has specs on acceptable settling over time and home warranties may be silent on this issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  6. Dec 30, 2013 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Engineers have a figure that they deem acceptable something like 1/2" over twenty feet or something.
     
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